This morning I FaceTimed my beautiful, brave sister who has just moved to Australia to pursue an adventure of living over there this year.
When I asked her how she was doing, she told me that she was feeling a little bit homesick today. Not an unexpected feeling for someone who has moved the other side of the world and had a life in Bristol which was surrounded by more friends than I would know what to do with!
We’re so alike in some ways – our voices, our dazzling looks 😉 , our values – but in others, we couldn’t be more alike, with her having a massive group of friends and me preferring the company of one or two people. Me driven by doing and her happy to just be. Her more chilled, me more intense.
Anyway, enough of that detour into the difference between me and my sister!
I’ve been thinking about that conversation on-and-off today and wish in that conversation I’d said to her ‘I’m really sorry to hear that you’re feeling homesick. Do you want to talk about it and is there anything I can do?’
Instead, I peddled on with the conversation, distracted by what she had shared. Almost like a voice in my head saying ‘make her happy but don’t talk about the homesickness! Gah, what will I do if she’s not ok? How can I solve this?‘
Distracting thoughts. Thoughts coming from love for her, but mostly due to my discomfort with things not being perfect and easy-breezy fine.
I’d do anything for my sister, but in my early morning brain fog my brain didn’t work fast enough to notice what I was doing – avoiding my emotions. Letting my fear of not being enough for her in that moment run away with me, my awkwardness at her not being 100% and naming what was going on for her.
But I’m noticing it now and I know that there will be a day, hopefully in the not too distant future where my brain will engage and I’ll be able to notice in the moment what is going on.
And when that day comes, I’ll say ‘I’m sorry to hear you’re feeling homesick and I’m noticing that I’m jumping to wanting to solve everything for you so that your life is perfect…but life isn’t meant to be perfect and I know that’s not what you’re asking of me. So what can I do? What do you need from me?‘
One day I’ll notice in the moment and until then I’ll try to be kind to myself and remind myself that I’m doing my best.